The reason I think that it’s very important for me to keep mentioning Type 2 diabetes over and over again (as I tend to do in these items and on TV) is that Type 2 diabetes is most often a chronic, severe, progressive (you might even say relentless) condition that’s hard for a person to know they have (since the symptoms in the early stage are either nil or innocuous), and yet, from the time it starts with some disruption in insulin sensitivity (before it can even be detected via blood tests) diabetes is damaging both the large and small arteries in the body, a “killing” effect that gets worse the longer a person suffers with abnormal insulin sensitivity and abnormal blood sugar levels.
All of which means, in plainer English, that the longer you have Type 2 diabetes, the greater your risk of damage to many organ systems, which is why Type 2 diabetes is related to higher risks of amputations, severe infections, blindness, kidney failure, dementia, colon cancer, heart attacks, and strokes (and these are just the most prominent complications: there are a host of others).
The intimate connection between diabetes and stroke was illustrated in a recent study published in the journal, Stroke, which involved over 3000 individuals with diabetes followed for about 5 years.
For each year the patient had had diabetes, their risk of stroke went up by about 3 %.
A person who had had Type 2 diabetes for over 10 years had a three-fold increased risk of stroke.
And the really worrisome thing, I think, is that the rate of Type 2 diabetes is being diagnosed in sharply increasing numbers in much younger people than ever before because of the “epidemic” of obesity and sedentary lifestyle in the young and even the very young.
Bottom line: Type 2 diabetes is nearly totally preventable (at least 80 %, probably higher), so get moving, eat right, and watch your weight and you should have little to worry about.
And these days, this is especially important for kids and young adults to keep in mind.